I by chance stumbled upon the last half of ABC’s show Earth 2100 a couple nights ago. Now understand, I just returned from a trip to Texas, the land of my birth. And Texas, with the exception of Austin, is not the land of environmental sensitivity. And so my frame of mind was stemming from what some other bloggers on the topic of Earth 2100 have been referring to as “the lowest common denominator.” Imagine my reverse culture shock when I found myself watching an acid trip induced, enviro-documentary/graphic novel about the end of humanity on prime time television.
Break out the shisha and tea. I need to relax. Now for the last couple of days most of the reviews on the show have been critical, but personally I think everyone needs to take a few puffs from the hookah. After you feel a little light headed you should keep reading.Yes, temperatures and sea levels are rising here on planet earth (taking into account that temperatures have leveled off some over the last couple decades, but you know, follow the overall trend). Yes, most of us have come to agreement that humans and our affinity for burning petroleum has contributed to these trends. Over the last few years most people seem to be admitting that we should even do something about it.
But here is where level heads must prevail. Most of us are not in agreement as to what the human impact is and will be. Most of us are not in agreement as to how much and how quickly our planet will heat and what effects that temperature increase will have. And get this, most of us are continuing to move forward under the assumption that everyone else either sees it our way or is a nonconsequential moron. This sort of flippant name calling is the backbone of our national conversation these days and the biggest reason I randomly crap myself while wondering around the park considering life.
I thought Earth 2100 was interesting and imaginative. It should cause many regular Joes to stop and think a little. On the other hand I did think that their method was a bit heavy handed and overdramatic. The last thing we need is for several of those regular Joes to take the whole thing seriously just to decide that when the dramatic predictions fall short that global warming was just a hoax after all. Maybe Earth2100’s predictions are on the nose. Maybe not. Some people still need to be scared while others need to be encouraged, challenged or comforted. A few people on either extreme will need to be ignored, it is true.
The main truth in all of this is that our petro-industrial revolution has run its course and we need to come up with another. Intelligent people that disagree as to what this revolution should be and how we should come about it will need to work together (with one voice or another taking the lead). This fact, above all, is what keeps me awake at night.